It’s Not Over Till the Mountain Girls Sing — Scarpa Gea Boot Review — 2011/12


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Sharon Bader

Backcountry skiing boot reviews.

Boot Reviews

Having ski toured for twenty years I know the most important thing in your gear inventory is your boots, closely followed by a flashy jacket. Even when I was a telemark skier I’d buy the stiffest boot I could afford. Forget those three buckled leather and lace jobs — I was STOKED when Scarpa came out with the plastic T2! OMG Control! Since then I’ve upped my ante when it comes to control by switching to alpine touring and the superior performance of AT gear. Thus, when it came time for an AT ski boot upgrade I was excited that Scarpa has now come out with a lighter, stiffer four buckle boot that fits my feet: The Gea.

Sharon backcountry skiing her Geas

Sharon backcountry skiing the Scarpa Gea boot. You can't miss the glowing green lower shell.

New for Fall 2010/Winter 2011, Scarpa Gea is said to be the lightest four buckle women’s AT boot on the market (2 pounds, 15 ounces, women’s size 25). Not only are these shoes light, but Scarpa’s Alpine Axial Tongue design combines the benefits of tongue and overlap construction to provide stiffness and a progressive flex, along with ease of entry and exit.

Scapa Gea backcountry skiing boots.

Scapa Gea backcountry skiing boots.

The Axial Tongue opens via hinges on the side of the boot, which allows for ease of entry once you open the tongue and more room for larger feet. Basically the women’s version of the incredibly successful Scarpa Maestrale, Gea is designed to fit people with a narrower heel, lower calf and higher instep — females of our species, in other words.

Gea backcountry skiing boot also shares the following characteristics with other boots in the Scarpa line up:

• Contemporaneous plant based (rather than carboniferous petroleum based) Pebax Rnew plastic.
• Ultra lightweight and super strong magnesium buckles.
• Quick Step-In tech fittings and Fitting Indicator System combine to make getting in and out of tech bindings easier than ever.
• Wiregate Tour lock buckle clasp keeps buckles in place for rapid uphill/downhill transitions.
• Asymmetric tongue provides precise power transmission.
• Wide range cuff motion translates to comfortable touring.
• Comes stock with Intuition Pro Flex G liner, state of art.
• New “Active Power Strap” saves some weight but still provides power.

Three boot comparison.

Comparison of the Gea (Center) with the Scarpa Shaka (left) and Scarpa Maestrale (right). Note the Maestrale and Gea are less beefy then the Shaka, but all have similar cuff heights. Interestingly the Shaka has a manufacturer claimed flex index of 110 and weighs 3lbs 10oz, vs 100 flex or the same sized Gea which weighs 3lbs. Shaka's are noticeably stiffer touring, and offer greater support for nasty chunder descending.

Scarpa’s Alpine Axial Tongue
Developed in 2010 as a variation of Scarpa’s cabrio (tongue shell) construction, with a twisting tongue (the tongue opens to the side), Axial tongue integrates the best attributes of both overlap and cabrio constructions. The asymmetrical tongue has perforations at the top to reduce weight and a cut out with a softer insert for increased flex at the crease (see photo below). The instep buckle which tightens over the crease is effective at reducing boot volume, a characteristic missing in most four buckle backcountry skiing boots (resulting in the not uncommon boot mod of moving the instep buckle aft). The shell tongue is also designed to facilitate motion and create an even flex to the boot.

Gea cuff and tongue.

Gea cuff and tongue. The back of the cuff has an asymmetrical black spoiler for added stiffness and support.

The top of the Gea shell covered by the tongue is not composed of Pebax, but a lighter flexible material to keep snow out. For weight savings, Gea does not come with a footbed. This along with the Scarpa/Intuition liner, which has a thinner sole, allows consumers to use their own footbed if desired, or simply mold without and let the liner play the role of footbed. Note also the shell rivets are inset to prevent wear on the liners and a waterproof membrane covers the vents in the back cuff to prevent snow from entering and allow for increased breathability.

Gea, backcountry skiing boot shell.

Gea, backcountry skiing boot shell.

Scarpa Gea booster 'power' strap.

The impressive looking Active Power strap on the Gea is wide, lighter then the Scarpa Booster Strap and adds support to the upper cuff depending on how tight you yard on it. Also note the top buckle with the Wiregate Tourlock buckle, and the ratcheting instep buckle which covers the flexible insert of the tongue.

Backcountry skiing boot lean comparisons.

Comparison of lean in walk and ski mode. 39 degrees of cuff range and 24 degree backward from vertical in walk mode. Gea is super flexible in walk mode, yet converts to a very supportive downhill mode.

Gea is fitted out with the Intuition Pro Flex G liner (similar to Intuition’s Luxury Liner), which can be heat molded for ideal fit. These are some of the lightest and warmest performance liners available and offer an amazing combo of support, warmth, comfort and quick drying after a day of sweating on the slopes. Intuition liners’ dual density also adds stiffness and flex where needed. This particular liner has a removable tongue allowing you to add a stiffer tongue if so desired.

All the above praises aside, I prefer the Intuition Freeride liner so after a few tours I replaced the Pro Flex liner with the Intuition Freeride. Such is life for boot companies — pesky Wildsnowers are always figuring out some mod (grin). As we advocate here on WildSnow, don’t hesitate to factor the possibility of an aftermarket liner into any boot purchase. Just as not every boot shell fits every skier, neither does every liner.

Touring
This light comfortable boot made those long days easy. In all conditions the Gea was supportive, warm when it was really cold ( -30 C) and easily vented when it warmed up. Fully unbuckled it was very free. For the most comfort I did have to loosen the Active Power straps during longer tours, but that’s pretty normal with any boot.

Very little on the downside for this product. My only gripe being that the tongue on my testers lacked durability where it attaches to the hinges on the shell.

A tiny catch system on the cuff buckle, “Wiregate Tour Lock” kept the open buckle in place. This was a cool feature to keep the buckle in the semi-closed position. Conversely, this makes the buckles a bit cumbersome to detach when it’s time to take your boots off. To release the Wiregate, I would have to fully tighten the power strap to release pressure and create enough room to remove the clasp. The instep ratchet buckle I remember from my old Telemark T2 boots are easy to adjust. One drawback with this mechanism is that if you are always tightening in the same groove it does get worn after awhile. As for clicking into my tech bindings, the Dynafit Quick Step-In tech fittings and associated marks did make it easier to line things up for an easy “snap” — nice touch.

Downhill mode
I tested the size 27 Gea. My shoe size is between women’s 9 and 10. Scarpas size 26 is for a size 10 foot, size 27 is for a 11 foot. I was more comfortable in the larger boot. I found the liner in these boots would bunch on the top of my foot. I’m not sure why and would have to pull the liner tongue up when it bunched too much. The Intuition Freeride liner I swapped in did not have this problem.

I used these boots with the Black Diamond Verdict ski (2007), G3 Tonic 185, 177, G3 Zen Oxide 185 and Movement Spark skis. The boot was able to drive all these skis effortlessly. I tightened the boots enough to get a snug feel. My foot did not move in the boot. Every foot movement transferred directly to the ski and the ski did not deflect in variable conditions so long as I kept my feet driving forward. When fully buckled this boot was very stiff and offered solid, consistent support in even grabby variable conditions.

While riding the Gea, I was able to ski confidently in powder, wind affected snow, and hard pack groomers. I found the boot confidence inspiring, comfortable and responsive in all conditions. It had a consistent feel that allowed me to stay in control.

On a longer ski-out traverse I had to put the boot in walk mode and loosen the buckles for the uphill sections and I still had enough stiffness to maintain control on the narrow variable ski track out. Even after backcountry skiing all day I could traverse out of areas with the buckles tight and the boot in walk mode for comfort while having little loss of control.

Yes, I’ll sing this boot’s praises — they deserve it.

(WildSnow real world weight: Test pair at WildSnow HQ, size 25.5, BSL 288, per boot, 49.3 oz/1398 grams, shell without liner 40.9 oz/1160 grams.)

Comments

54 Responses to “It’s Not Over Till the Mountain Girls Sing — Scarpa Gea Boot Review — 2011/12”

  1. Steve April 6th, 2011 8:41 am

    Surprised to see ‘by Lou’ at the top of this review, but pleased to hear that you’re an ex telemarker who fits well into women’s boots.

    Anyway, great website, and if you have some leanings towards transvestitism, well who am I to judge? ;-)

  2. Lou April 6th, 2011 8:46 am

    whoops!

  3. Andy April 6th, 2011 8:58 am

    Sharon/Lou?!

    Any ideas/experience of how do these compare to the Divas?

    For a very small, flat, low volume, skinny-heeled foot a 22.5 Diva was the best she could find on the market (i.e. Chamonix). With a few mods and cranking buckles incredibly tight they are just about passable but somewhat sloppy, still with some heel lift and she finds them too upright for skiing.

  4. Sam April 6th, 2011 9:01 am

    My only gripe being that the tongue on my testers lacked durability where it attaches to the hinges on the shell.

    Wondering what this means here, I’m interested in the maestrale and this comment reminds me that I was unsure how those hinges looked in terms of durability.

  5. Lou April 6th, 2011 9:14 am

    Sharon’s cracked where the hinge attaches. Have not heard of that being a wider problem (and her boots could have been previously tested and abused demos) so we pulled the punch a bit on that one as to not be too alarmist. As for Maestrale I’ve not heard of any hinge durability problems, though anything can break.

    Upon examination of both Maestrale and Gea (we’ve had both here at HQ) I don’t see much that concerns me about the hinges. BUT, the buckles ARE on the tongue and pull hard against the hinges if you yard on them — and the hinges are mounted on quite a small amount of plastic on the tongue. Yarding on the lower buckles of a 4 buckle boot shouldn’t be necessary if the boot is correctly fitted, but nonetheless this would have more consequence on the Maestrale/Gea tongue than on other boots with the buckles mounted on the shell. Main thing is if you do own the boot to not stress the tongue when folding out on the hinges, and to not over-tighten the lower two buckles. If the hinges were bigger and the tongue thicker, the boot would weigh more. Nonetheless, perhaps this could be a more common problem than I think and we’ll keep our eye on it as the Meastrale and Gea get more use over the rest of this season and the next.

  6. Lou April 6th, 2011 9:21 am

    Andy, the newer Scarpa last appears to be a bit closer in the heel area but I’m not sure. As for fitting the boot, it sounds like someone could do a much better job with getting the 22.5 to work for you.

  7. Lou April 6th, 2011 9:28 am

    I should add that the Maestrale/Gea tongue is very easy to replace and Scarpa is known for their excellent warranty support. That should also allay concerns.

  8. Aimee April 6th, 2011 10:03 am

    I got a pair of these for Christmas and I love, love, love them. Their light weight and awesome walk mode has made the switch to AT easy.

    I would bet that Sharon’s boots are a demo version……the power strap and instep buckle are white on my production version. Perhaps they resolved some issues between demo and production? I’ve had zero problems and tons of fun.

  9. Lou April 6th, 2011 10:37 am

    We have a pair here that my wife Lisa has been in for a few weeks now. They’re working great. We’ve had some fit issues that are not specific to the boot, but nonetheless have delayed her review. Eventually she’ll get a review up as well (after her personal boot fitter finishes his work), it’ll be cool having two takes on what is most definitely one of the better female specific boots out there!

  10. Ben W April 6th, 2011 12:06 pm

    I’ve now heard of several cases of the hinges failing on Maestrales and Geas, on account of both screws falling out and the plastic breaking. The screws seem to loosen up on their own significantly so occasional tightening is advised. And I’ll be contacting Scarpa to get an extra plastic hinge or two for the repair kit.

  11. cgd April 6th, 2011 12:22 pm

    there was a thread on tgr regarding the hinge failing. It was posted a few months ago.

  12. Louie April 6th, 2011 2:43 pm

    I’ve had a few screws fall out on my Maestrale. I put loctite on all of them and haven’t had any fall out since.

  13. Amy April 6th, 2011 4:13 pm

    Great review. Thanks! How do these compare to the Scarpa Shaka’s? Is the extra weight worth it in terms of performance? I have the Scarpa Starlites and want a stiffer boot for the downhill. I’m looking at both the Shaka and the Gea.

    How do the ladies think the Gea’s compare to the Starlite? Do the Gea’s have more control on the downhill?

    Any information would be great! Thanks!!

  14. Caleb Wray April 6th, 2011 5:37 pm

    Jennie finally wore me down to replace her Garmont She-Rides a few weeks ago. Actually I went on a long paddle trip and she decided to treat herself, but what’s mine is hers and vice versa. You know how it works Lou. But anyway, she went with the Gea’s and absolutely loves them. Lighter, stiffer, and more comfortable by her assessment. Perhaps she will chime in on the specifics. They also look much more sexy on her dainty feet. :D

  15. Sharon Bader April 6th, 2011 5:59 pm

    Hi Amy
    - The Gea’s were more comfortable touring then the Shaka’s. Downhill performance the Shaka’s were more stiff and offered better control in crappy conditions, but the Gea’s weren’t that bad and highly manageable considering how comfortable they were. I’m unfamiliar with the Starlite, but looking at it considering its a three buckle and the tongue design of the Gea is supposed to be stiffer I think the Gea would be as good touring, stiffer descending.

    Re; Hinges. – Scarpa hasn’t had a lot of issues with other boots and did replace the hinges quickly. Also the tongue was very secure on the boot with the buckles so I don’t think the broken hinge compromised boot performance at all. Also I don’t tend to over tighten the buckles over the toes so there shouldn’t have been a lot of stresst here.

    Yes Aimee, these were demo boots, so have probably been quite used and they do some with removable footbeds.

    Andy, I’ve never tried the Diva’s but heard they are very stiff. So probably not as comfortable touring, but maybe better performing downhill. She should try the Shaka’s if she wants a boot that puts you further forward and stiffer.

  16. XXX_er April 6th, 2011 6:26 pm

    5’8″/160lbs /small/flat /low volume feet and I normaly take a 24 which means the only boots that will fit me are usually chick boots

    I tried on the GEA in a 24 but it was TOO big cuz scarpa breaks on the half size and so the 23.5 is likely THE boot if I want to go dynafit for touring and no other company comes up with a better alternative

    did you try the new BD boots Sharon ,how do they fit ,I hear they are for hobbit feet ?

    at least the color of the GEA is a little more manly than the powder blue Xena’s

  17. Sharon Bader April 6th, 2011 8:51 pm

    Hey XXX”r,

    gotta get Lee onto the BD guys!

    Hmmm, I had to go up a size with Scarpa. My Megarides were 26, Scarpa’s I’m 27.

    Lee’s a 27 in both the garmin and scarpa.

  18. Denny April 7th, 2011 1:51 pm

    Contemporaneous plastic! Dino-oil is so mesozoic.

  19. Sean April 7th, 2011 3:35 pm

    Nice review Sharon. Reminded me of our conversation on ski boots & fore-aft stiffness, after that Mystery Trail ride two summers ago.

  20. Lou April 7th, 2011 5:37 pm

    Denny, yeah, it’s all plant based of course!

  21. Sharon Bader April 7th, 2011 9:08 pm

    Hey Sean!

    We talk about bikes skiing too, mostly this heavy xc vs light freeride debate…but that’s another website…

  22. stephen April 8th, 2011 10:12 pm

    Hmmm, “Scarpa” and “excellent warranty support” in the same sentence… Maybe if you’re not in Australia. Here, Scarpa ski boots have not been imported for some years (only hiking and climbing boots) and there is zero availability of spare parts.

    While the boots themselves can be easily obtained elsewhere, the same is not true of spare parts, and emailing Scarpa in the US and Italy is not helpful. The USA is likely to say: “contact your local importer” which is a total waste of effort; Italy does not respond. To be fair, these problems are not unique to Scarpa, but that doesn’t make solving them any easier.

    It would be helpful if small parts were easily obtainable from manufacturers wherever in the world one resides given they are the only ones likely to have them. With the rise of internet sales and the scaling back of local availability of gear (if it was ever available in the first place) this ought to become a major point to consider *before* buying stuff!

  23. Lou April 9th, 2011 7:11 am

    Stephen, good point, buyer beware and all that.

  24. Bar Barrique April 9th, 2011 9:44 pm

    Stephen; I would think that a good e-tailer would support their international customers by providing them with parts during the warranty period, and, selling parts after the warranty had expired (though the shipping isn’t going to be pretty). I have had positive experiences with Telemark-Pyrenees. Mountain Equipment Co-op is also very good, and, may be able to supply the parts you need, though you have to purchase a one time $5 membership.

  25. stephen April 10th, 2011 10:06 pm

    ^ Agreed regarding T-P, but they haven’t been able to source tongues from Scarpa for me.

    Thanks for suggesting MEC; I’ll send them an email and ask if they are prepared to order spares. I had a prompt response when I asked about some XC boots I was hoping they might have had, plus they’re in North America so their chances of getting stuff out of Scarpa may be better than those of Telemark-Pyrenees.

    My experience with other shops (i.e., backcountry.com) is that if it’s not up on their site you can’t get it from them; I’ve asked and got a blanket “no” in the past. Backcountry.com are good with warranty, but I guess they think special orders are just too much hassle for the return.

    The real problem is that spares are normally special orders, and thus tthe sort of thing that one would get at a local shop, not from a website. Here in Oz, very few, if any, of the local importers carry any stock; everything is based on forward orders. So, you need to order stuff in October for delivery around June the next year. It is unfortunately not uncommon for stuff not to turn up at all, even when it is supposed to have been ordered. :(

    I’d be happy to buy stuff locally, but very often the guys here either cannot get the stuff at all, or delivery is not for >12 months, plus there’s no certainty it will come anyway.

    Frequently even Northern hemisphere shops can only get spares by forward ordering it for the next year even when they’d like to help, and this doesn’t make things easier for anyone. Really, the answer is for spares to be available direct from the manufacturer as they’re the ones who should reliably have stock. I suppose they’d argue that this would cut out their dealers, but many dealers would prefer to avoid having to deal with small, low-profit special orders in my experience. Manufacturers probably don’t care/don’t want to know either…

  26. Geoff April 13th, 2011 9:38 pm

    Has anyone had a problem with the lean/lock on Maestrales or Geas failing to go into ski mode? My wife and I have seen this several times when we climb from warm conditions into cold conditions. I tried spraying the mechanism with silicon lubricant, but it didn’t fix the problem. So far, we’ve been able to get into ski mode eventually by banging on the mechanism for awhile, but it’s annoying to have to do this, and we wonder if sometime we’ll get stuck skiing down in walk mode in a awkward place.

  27. Lou April 14th, 2011 6:50 am

    Geoff, no problem here with that, though Lisa’s lean lock levers seem to easily get flipped by the cuff of her pants.

    I’d say you most definitely are getting ice in the mechanism. Silicon spray isn’t going to make much difference with that, though it doesn’t hurt. Not that you’d do it, but it would probably make more difference to spray with antifreeze, as they do when spraying de-icer on a plane (grin).

    One approach might be to look at your ski pant cuff is working in terms of protecting rear of boot from moisture entry. Also, take the liners out of the shells when drying after a tour, so the shell can dry inside.

  28. Jennifer August 13th, 2011 4:50 pm

    Geoff, I totally have this problem too. I have heard of some others also, but not everyone, so I’m trying for a warranty replacement.

  29. Lou August 13th, 2011 6:32 pm

    All i can say is that after 40 years of developing lean-locks in touring boots, I’d feel very comfortable returning a boot with a lean-lock that only worked part of the time. I mean, really.

  30. FRobinson October 19th, 2011 9:09 am

    I thought I had found the next boot for my wife with the Gea. She skis in Magics now and loves how they tour but has a problem with downhill performance. Upon looking at the Geas, however, she wondered if the 4th buckle, which is out farther on the toe and metal, might not transport more cold to the toe–she has rynauds so has a problem with cold feet (rynauds). I told her I didn’t know, but that she could either take off the toe buckle or maybe go with the Blink. So my questions are whether the coldness factor because of an extra buckle is really an issue (more of a physics question I think) and the question you may be better able to answer and that is whether the Gea with toe buckle removed would have better performance than the three buckle Blink. Janet is pretty small (5′ 2′, 120). Fred

  31. Lou October 19th, 2011 9:57 am

    If her feet are small, just take that buckle off. If she wants more warmth, don’t performance fit the shell. instead, keep shell size roomy and build liner that fits snug around everything but toes, and even mold in a pocket for a chemical foot warmer.

  32. Katrina November 14th, 2011 6:32 pm

    Just how uncomfortable are we talking for the Shakas? I tried on both, and the Gea is definitely pretty much an AT slipper, but I’m concerned about how stiff (or not) they may be. Willing to give up a bit of comfort for performance, as I’ll just grab my old T2′s for longer tours. Thanks! (again!)

  33. JasminD November 16th, 2011 2:03 pm

    Sharon – thanks for your review. It’s so hard to find reviews of women’s ski equipment by someone who has experience skiing (i.e. not their first time in backcountry gear).

    I’m finally replacing my Garmont Mega-ride this year (which I will say, have not been a great boot for me – heel issues, hurt my feet when I have them locked down) and looking for a new amazing boot. I have raichle tongue’s and intuitions in my megarides and hoping for a boot that is lighter and stiffer. Previous boots I’ve skied in are Nordica TR12′s, Scarpa T1′s and Scarpa Magic’s.

    The Gea’s have interested me, but I noticed right away how low the shell is. I’d really like a boot that can deal with crud in the backcountry but still remain relatively light. BD and Garmont boots are out.

    Have you had a chance to test any Dynafit boots? Any comparisons that you’d care to make?

  34. Catherine November 20th, 2011 8:07 pm

    I have also had problems with my Gea’s locking into ski mode. I have noticed that the locking mechanism gets off “track” and sometimes I can fix it with the tightening of the canting screws. Did you have any luck getting in touch with scarpa and talking to them about this?
    Thanks!

  35. Geoff February 12th, 2012 8:47 pm

    The problem with locking into ski mode on my wife’s Geas seems to have been caused by the canting adjustment lock screw loosening up. That allowed the cuff to misalign so that the locking pin missed the hole in the locking bar. Putting the cant adjustment back to neutral and re-tightening the lock screw seems to have fixed the problem.

  36. Lou February 12th, 2012 8:51 pm

    Geoff! Funny thing, my wife Lisa had exactly the same problem, only solution in our case was cleaning out the locking mech with some gun cleaner! Just happened to have that stuff on hand (grin). Lou

  37. Matt February 25th, 2012 8:48 pm

    Having the same problem as Geoff with the tour/ski modes not engaging on my girlfriends boots. There are 2 other girls up here in the Terrace area with the same problem. One of them sprayed the mechanism with WD40 and then worked it in. But this isn’t seeming to work with our set of boots. She has had to ski runs in tour mode or if she finally gets it locked in just leaves it in ski mode which is equally annoying.

    The boots for all the girls have been bought at different locations as well so its not a faulty set getting sent up here.

  38. Matt February 25th, 2012 9:31 pm

    So we started looking at the locking mechanism and it appears that the pin is not engaging to put the boot into ski mode. After spraying it with WD40 we still had to give it a hit with the palm of the hand just when you get to the point where it would lock into ski mode and it clicks in.

    We tried to take apart the tour mode by unscrewing the 4 bolts on the back of the boot but couldn’t get much further than that as the plate didn’t want to come off.
    Lou when you say that you cleaned it up did you take apart the tour/ski mechanism?

  39. XXX_er February 25th, 2012 10:21 pm

    ” Has anyone had a problem with the lean/lock on Maestrales or Geas failing to go into ski mode? ”

    Yes it happened a week or 2 ago with my buddies brand new Maestrales which stuck in “walk” on the 1st run when he tried to lock them, he took the shell off and we beat the latch into submission for the ski down

    So on the way home in the truck I flicked the walk mode latch on/off a couple of hundred times to free up the mechanism/work the pin in till the latch moved freely and its apparently been good since

    I would say the tolerances on that pin are really close so it doesn’t get sloppy …maybe too close ?

  40. Lou February 26th, 2012 12:22 am

    xer, we had that problem with my wife’s Geas, and I couldn’t get on of the lean locks to be reliable no matter what I did with it installed, so I finally removed the whole thing, took apart as much as possible, cleaned with gun cleaner that is pretty much the same as WD-40, and put everything back together. Works now. What appeared to have happened is it got “sticky” from all sorts of dust, dirt and residue that I couldn’t seem to flush out with the mechanism installed on the boot. On the whole, the mechanism should be more robust, in my opinion. Actually pretty surprising how sensitive it is to sticking in walk position. I recall Louie had the same problem with his Maestrales. The problem seems to occur less with later boots, perhaps Scarpa did an in-line change to the mechanism (just guessing). Overall, for prevention, I think the key is to use a spray lubricant and try to spray inside the mechanism from inside the boot and out, so that you clean out the mechanism by virtue of the lube running an and out. Clean the mess up, and you’re good to go. BTW, the lean lock also seems to be sensitive to icing on cold days. To prevent, keep lubricated and protect with pant cuff.

    Oh, and questions about what I mean by “taking apart?” All I did was remove the pin that holds the vertical bar, then unscrewed the 4 tiny screws. Result is the mechanism comes out and is easily cleaned. I didn’t take apart any more than that. The heads of the screws strip quite easily, be super careful and use the correct size wrench. When replacing screws, be sure both male and female threads are dry/clean and use plenty of thread locker.

    Anyone at Scarpa care to comment on this?

    Lou

  41. Phil February 26th, 2012 9:23 pm

    Similar experience here with my wife’s Blink’s (same mechanism as the Maestrale/Gea/Rush). With hers, she couldn’t get it to lock. From what MEC said – it is a common issue. However, their advice worked and was similar to Lou’s. I didn’t disassemble anything, but just lubricated the bar and the lock mechanism well with WD40. Then I moved the cuff so that the pin was in position (you could feel where it should drop in). Flipping the lever so that the pin was ‘supposed’ to drop in (but still didn’t), I lightly tapped the pend of the pin with a screwdriver. That popped the pin into place. Works like a charm again.

    It seems like the tolerances of the pin/holes are quite fine so a bit of grit can jam up the mechanism. Flushing it and lubricating should solve (most) problems.

  42. XXX_er February 27th, 2012 12:08 pm

    well the boot was brand new so not old or dirty, based on my experience of working the pin till it moved nicely I bet some fine lapping compound followed by flushing the latch clean would make that mechanism work better

  43. Mark February 28th, 2012 1:21 pm

    I had a similar problem with the pin not latching in ski mode. I was able to solve it with Geoff’s solution of moving the cant back close to neutral. It appears that at some time the cant on my boots got moved about 180° from where it should have been.

    I emailed Scarpa about the issue, and they replied:

    “Sorry to hear about the troubles with your boot. Fortunately, we just received new replacement parts from Italy. You have two options. You can ship your boot back to SNA for a full repair/re-build or I can ship you the correct parts to fix the boots yourself.”

    Whether these replacement parts are the same, or different to avoid this issue, I’m not sure.

  44. kf March 3rd, 2012 11:18 pm

    New 11/12 Geas, one tour in w/ no exposure to dirt or grit & one boot won’t go into ski mode after adjusting cant. These boots ski horribly upright out of the box, so tried to mess w/ cant – have never had to adjust boots in this way, but never skied scarpas. I bought these based on reviews, but had to fight them to get any forward leverage. A normally easy ski lap in blower powder turned into an aggressive fight to lean on my boots with little success. I was leaning as hard as I could forward & still ended up w/ weight in back seat. My ski tips were kicking back/up at a Sharp almost comical angle b/c could not get enough forward lean & weight on my skis to keep the skis down, thus thrown into the back seat aggressively. I skied garmont radiums & BD divas & never, ever had a single issue, much less on first day in boots in hero snow. I only weigh 100 pounds, but these boots are ridiculous. Perhaps I am doing something wrong, because these are the worst boots I’ve ever worn. By 3rd lap I did get a tiny amount of forward leverage fighting the boot as hard as I could, but it was so exhausting that I had to pull over after every 8-10 turns. What is going on here?

  45. kf March 3rd, 2012 11:21 pm

    Also, boots went into ski mode while skiing all 3 laps, but stopped working after came home & adjusted cant. Both boots adjusted equally , one boot works, the other doesn’t

  46. Lou March 4th, 2012 1:03 am

    KF, sounds like you’ve got two issues. 1.)You bought boots with the wrong angles for your style of skiing. That doesn’t make them bad boots, they’re just not the correct boots for you. 2.)Yes, it appears from our own experience and many other reports that some of the lean lock mechanisms on these boots don’t work correctly. Not sure what Scarpa is doing about that other than the usual (and excellent) customer support. I’ll try to get some information from them once the business week rolls around. It could be that they just have some defective lean locks that got installed, and they’ll replace as needed. Too bad for them and the consumers, but these sorts of things do happen in any industry.

  47. kf March 4th, 2012 3:05 am

    Thx for info. Since one boot actually worked w/ my adjustment I am hoping I can get the other into ski mode. I also had issues w/ entry/exit from boot due to size of opening @ ankle, esp. after using laces/skiing. Pulling the shell tongue to the side helps but is very cumbersome.

    I will try to adjust my style of skiing tomorrow & maybe go see a ski shop, but it seems like I would need to move the bindings forward to get more weight on the front for my size/weight

    . I bought because they were a fairly stiff boot for weight & seemed perfect, this is a good lesson to demo & pay more attention to specs such as forward lean angle.

    I have wide, flat feet w/ a ’6th toe’ and a large bone spur on the other foot, so on the plus side these boots fit really well w/ no rubbing after heat molding. They tour really well & have the best tread for hiking out of any boot I have.

    It’s dismaying to have a boot that could potentially fail to lock in ski mode. I can only imagine the frustration if I was skiing something icy & steep, bc these boots have an unusual amount of flex in walk mode. I have skied radiums & shivas accidentally in walk mode w/ little impact to my skiing, these I’m not so sure. Maybe it’s just me, but no boot should require work to ski in boot deep light density Jackson hole powder, it’s always been effortless until I rode these boots.

  48. Will March 4th, 2012 3:38 pm

    @kf – My Maestrales have two forward lean positions, so I’m guessing your Geas do too. Did you try both positions? The most inclined one is a long way forward and could be easy to miss if you’re not looking for it.

  49. kf March 4th, 2012 11:56 pm

    Thx, got the boot in ski mode by loosening then retightening the 4 hex screws. I will try to put in more forward position as suggested, I read this boot had 2 settings. Skied better today after I adjusted cant so maybe I did find the more forward setting. Probably user error as I do not have box/info here & have never had to fix a boot. I think I have an issue w/ too much volume after molding & the toe lift is causing most problems now. Off to a bootfitter.

  50. Geoff March 12th, 2012 9:32 pm

    @kf, My wife and I also had difficulties skiing easy powder in the Geas/Maestrales. We concluded that the problem is too much forward lean: When you try to relax and stand up in easy powder, your calves hit the rear spoilers, causing the tails to dig in and the tips to kick up. We found that removing the spoilers (but keeping the power straps) helped a lot. (We added some washers to the power strap screws so that they wouldn’t dig into the liners when the spoilers were removed.) ‘With that change, we were able to adjust our stances a bit over the course of a few days of skiing, and the boots now seem fine. Another trick that helps with the forward lean issue is to put a small wedge under the heel between the shell and liner. That allows you to get into the front of the boot without having to flex your ankle so much. However, we found the wedge to be somewhat uncomfortable for touring and don’t use it anymore.

  51. kf March 13th, 2012 9:40 am

    Thx for suggestion geoff. I will try some more mods. I went back to my old boots b/c the 2nd boot now refuses to latch into ski mode & it sounds like I need to contact scarpa 4 new parts.

  52. vanessa March 14th, 2012 11:55 am

    Geoff,
    The Geas have 2 positions for ski mode, one with a lot of forward lean and one (that I prefer) which is more upright. Also I fit and sell quite a few of these boots, as well as owning a pair, after my pair (and several customers and friends boots) wouldn’t consistently lock into ski mode I called Scarpa and they replied that the canting hardware is warping/bending which throws the alignment off. Additionally, there are problems with dirt/ice but these only account for the problems that are easily fixed ie cleaning mechanism, whacking the mechanism with a pole, deicing/lubricating.

    They sent out burlier hardware and ski/walk mechanisms very quickly to me. I really like these boots and would like to buy the 120 flex next year so I’ll check back in and let you know how the “fix” goes.

  53. ilona April 21st, 2012 7:19 am

    Hi!
    I´d appreciate some advice on the inner layer of these shoes (or Scarpa blink), is it appropriately warm in real coldness??? I am asking, since I have a really bad blood circulation and don´t like to be freezing on toes :-) If you can compare to Dalbello Virus Lite – I was told that it has neopren material on tips, which prevent from coldness – how is it with the inner layer of Scarpa shoes? Maybe trivial question, but I am quite new to skiing, so I´d appreciate any advice :-) Thanks in advance!

  54. Lou April 21st, 2012 10:50 am

    Hello Ilona, thanks for dropping by. Most ski boots have very thin insulation at the toes, and it is all quite similar. Scarpa uses a neoprene as well, that’s warm when thick enough. To keep your feet warm, with the help of a boot fitter first pick a boot that fits , then have the boot fitter work on the boot so that if fits snug around your ankle and mid-foot, but has a bit of room for the toes. A trick for warmer boots is to again work with a boot fitter to use a larger size boot with more room for insulation, but fit the ankle and such so that it still performs. Doing this is quite a bit of work sometimes, but makes for a very warm boot.

    In the end, some people with foot warmth problems end up installing and using a battery operated foot warmer.

    I hope that helps. Lou

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